The Sixth forum of the “Laudato Si’ Communities” was held in Verona, Italy, earlier this month. This is a series of meetings devoted to propagating Pope Francis’ views on what is called “the climate emergency.”
This latest affair was called “Doubling the Commitment.” This was a reference to Francis’ new exhortation, Laudate Deum, in which he warns us that the end is near, both for “our suffering planet” and, by extension, for us.
He struck the same note in his opening video message to the Verona meeting, warning that it’s “a very difficult time” and that “within 30 years the world will be unlivable.”
The “apocalypse now” message is by now drearily familiar, but I was still surprised by the messianic zeal with which it is being proposed by leaders within the Catholic Church.
Take Bishop Domenico Pompili, who hosted the event. He opened the forum by emphasizing that simply transitioning to policies that protect the planet is not enough. What is needed, he said, is an ecological “conversion,” a striving to create a planetary “utopia.”
I am merely a poor convert, but Pompili makes protecting the environment sound like a spiritual quest. And the only spiritual quest I want to be on is one that leads not to some earthly utopia, but home to Heaven.
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